On the 3rd of June 2018 our fun-loving friend Robert Jackson drowned in a tragic accident within the Sawmill Falls rapid on the River Tummel, Pitlochry. We are aware that many of you knew Robert and wonder what happened on the day. We hope the following information will be useful.
While on an Edinburgh Kayak Club river trip, Robert took the decision to swim down Sawmill Falls from the top, towards river Left. He became snagged under water on a rock towards the end of the rapid on river Left. It was later discovered that this was due to his cowtail (an elasticated tape sometimes used in white water rescues that is attached to the rear of buoyancy aids which have a chest harness system).
Multiple types of rescues were attempted with lines from river Left, from both banks and from the centre of the rapid.
Robert was eventually released after a member of the group was lowered from upstream by lines controlled from both banks.
Robert was recovered to the bank where CPR was started immediately and soon after flown to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Despite the best efforts of the group, emergency services and hospital staff, Robert was pronounced dead later that evening.
Robert was a much-loved member of our club and is deeply missed. Our thoughts are still with his family and friends as we all try to move forwards from this tragic accident.